March 1, 2013


Mike Dirnt on How Billie Joe Armstrong's Meltdown Affected Green Day

Kevin Mazur
Kevin Mazur

Not long after Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong opened up to Rolling Stone about his rehab stint, the magazine spoke with bassist Mike Dirnt, who offered his perspective on Armstrong's meltdown and subsequent treatment for alcohol and painkiller abuse that derailed the band's tour.

"For me, it started off as concern for my friend," Dirnt says of his reaction to Armstrong's rant and substance abuse. "Then it turned to anger. Then it came full circle to 'I'm angry for what you're doing to you. Whatever the f-ck is going on, that's not you.' Sometimes you have a friend or loved one that needs you to shake them. They don't see a path out."

Dirnt admitted that prior to the iHeartRadio festival rant, "We all turned a blind eye to [Armstrong's addiction issues]… because we were working so hard." But Armstrong's Clear Channel- and Bieber-bashing tirade forced the band to face the demons Armstrong was already struggling with.

"Truth be told, I agreed with what he said, outside of mentioning anybody else. I know that's not Billie," Dirnt said. "But the bigger side of it, I actually agreed with the rant. But I was watching my friend and going, 'You're out of your f-cking mind.' And we were dealing with a shitshow."

For the punk trio's upcoming tour—which will find them playing SXSW for the first time before kicking off a huge tour on March 28 in Chicago—Dirnt says the backstage area will be a bit different than usual.

"The backstage doesn't need to be a bar. And that's OK with me." Dirnt also said Green Day might not be quite so prolific in the upcoming years: "We don't have to say yes to every opportunity in front of us. We did something like 228 shows for American Idiot and 190 for 21st Century Breakdown. And that doesn't include band practice five days a week in between."

For an in-depth look at Armstrong's breakdown, check out Fuse News' piece on how addiction plagues overworked rockers.